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This chapter takes Ian McEwan’s 1997 novel Enduring Love as an opportunity to think through some of the potentials and pitfalls involved in the current turn against “critique” and “paranoid reading.” Reading McEwan together with the writings of Bruno Latour, it demonstrates the extent to which “postcritique” has been predicated on a rapprochement between the “two cultures”—sciences and humanities—that novelist and theorist alike figure as a merger of realism and romance. The chapter then argues for Eve Sedgwick’s pioneering work on these matters as an alternative perspective, one that conceives of humanistic scholarship in terms closer to Henry James’s view of the novel itself. For these writers, what is most valued is the possibility of affirming the potential of both realism and romance, without simply mistaking the one for the other.

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